70,000 miles helped Scottsbluff cyclist overcome cancer - LivewellNebraska.com
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70,000 miles helped Scottsbluff cyclist overcome cancer

Battling cancer can be as simple as riding a bicycle.

For one local woman that is exactly what she did to overcome the disease and to lead a healthy way of life.

On Friday Donna Davey of Scottsbluff marked a milestone on her bicycle - 70,000 miles.

Davey has been tracking the miles on her bicycle for more than 20 years. It all began with her son, Scott Davey, who purchased a Pinarello touring bicycle to ride across the United States, but later decided he would like to get into bike racing instead and purchased another bike. Davey then tried out her sons touring bike and it was love at first ride.

"I said, 'Gees when I get to 100 miles, let's have the banners and the Champaign.' Scott said, 'Oh no mom, we don't celebrate at 100 miles, when you get to 1,000 we'll have the party.'"

After her son said more miles would be needed for a real celebration, Davey then pressed herself to go a little further each day and she eventually reached 1,000 miles in her first year. She said her son encouraged her to do another thousand miles and that was when the counting got serious.

In 2008 her bike riding almost came to a halt when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Davey said she rode her bike even during her chemotherapy treatments at Regional West Medical Center. She said her inspiration came from a poster of a famous cancer survivor who also happened to be a bike rider.

"I'm sitting in chemo and I'm looking at the Lance Armstrong poster and I'm thinking, 'oh what he accomplished,'" she said. "He had cancer, he's a survivor, I can do it. Lance helped me through this."

Her second motivation came from the help of her son Scott and daughter Shannon through the cancer treatments, but she said her bike computer that tells her the miles, time and speed of her bike also helped push her along towards recovery.

Davey has gone through four different bicycles over the years, but enjoys her "brainless bike route" everyday. She said she typically rides along 42nd Street in Scottsbluff and goes up towards the highway and also rides along the Tri-State Canal. She said she finds a way to ride unless severe weather becomes a factor.

"I ride unless it's a blizzard or the wind is 60 miles an hour. Because I have 27 speeds, I can go," she said.

Davey said she still has her first cross country bike and she currently has it on a wind trainer in her family room when there is bad weather, but she said that it is not as exciting as being outside.

"After 10 minutes it's boring as heck," she said. "I can ride for two hours and be happy, but the wind trainer is not my thing."

As a retired Park Ranger from Scotts Bluff National Monument in Gering, Davey said she used to ride her bike 20 miles every day back and forth from work. She also takes her bike into Scottsbluff to do her errands and shopping. She said since she rides her bike, it's a good way not to impulse buy.

"When you shop on a bike you just don't buy anything because you can't carry it," she said. "You save a lot of money."

This year she wanted to cover 2,500 miles, but was looking over her chart with the total miles that she has completed and she figured out that if she were to go an extra 100 miles, she would reach an even bigger milestone.

"I was just looking at my chart with my total miles and said, 'oh my gosh, if I got another 100 miles I would be at 70,000,'" she said. "I don't want to say I did 69,900 and so because of this wonderful weather we've had in November I've done 20 mile days to get this extra mileage and now it's the seventh of December and I'm done with that part."

Davey said her biking helps her get creative ideas going and it gives her time to think and plans to put on as many miles as possible in the future.

"I'm addicted," Davey said. "I'm going to keep riding because its good for me and I really think it has helped me get through this cancer thing. I just like the riding it's calming and takes stress out of your life."

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